February 19, 2017
Four Ways Adults Can Inspire Teen Involvement at Church
Whether you’re a parent who is raising a teen in the Catholic faith or an adult who cares immensely about the future of the young Church, we can all agree that getting teens to stay active during and after the high school years is quite challenging. Yet in my past ten years of experience in youth ministry, there are a few things adults can do that effectively help us retain our young people.
1. Don’t pretend to be perfect. Teens can sense inauthenticity from miles away. The biggest turnoff for any young person is to see an adult who does not “walk the walk” in their faith. Do your best, and be ready to admit when you’ve made mistakes. We’re all human.
2. Notice them. Do you find yourself talking ABOUT teenagers more than you are talking directly TO them? If so, try to say hello to a teen at Mass and affirm them for their presence. It is more difficult for teens to feel like they belong in the community if they aren’t noticed by the community.
3. Fall in love with God. Do you love God so much that you frequently turn to Him in personal prayer, Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Teens can’t help but notice adults who are living out the Gospel message with joy. It is contagious.
4. Become a spiritual mentor by getting involved in our Youth ministry programs. Take your involvement to the next level and minister to our teens directly. After all, the Church is built on relationships. There are future Catholic leaders in our community who are waiting for YOU to show them why they matter to the Church. What are you waiting for?
Christopher Mardesich, Director of Youth & Young Adults